Communicating Innovation – and other essential conversations that most brands neglectAdriano Silva - December 2, 2020
Most companies invest 100% of the resources earmarked for Innovation in the execution of projects – and little or nothing in publicizing the projects that are being carried out or the results that they are generating.
As a result, they greatly reduce the number of people impacted by their projects – which ends up reducing the project’s own return on investment (ROI).
More than that, companies then fail to present themselves to the market as innovative organizations. They lack powerful brand narratives that show how they innovate, which areas they advance, how they envision the future, how they work with startups, how they develop new products and new technologies.
Meanwhile, most customers seek to do business with innovative companies – those that show an entrepreneurial spirit and an appetite to invent solutions better than those that exist today.
In the same way, Sustainability efforts tend to have no budget, and no mandate, to communicate what they are doing.
Thus, companies fail to tell their stakeholders how inclusive they are, how much they encourage diversity and how hard they work to build, within and outside the company, a more just and supportive world.
They also do not show how they operate to reduce the environmental impact of their own activities, preserving and renewing the resources they use in their production.
However, more and more consumers are deciding to only buy from companies that take their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) seriously.
This is the “branding paradox” for many companies today: marketing teams have the authority and the budget to communicate, but are under increasing pressure to use the company’s funds and official channels only to advertise the product or service, the promotion, the campaign.
And then a series of conversations that are highly relevant to the brand, which have a lot of power to attract and retain customers (and therefore to increase the company’s revenues), get left out of the communication priorities.
Why? Simply because these themes are not linked to the specific budget of one brand or a product line.
The same happens with themes of Digital Transformation. It’s increasingly important for a company to position itself as a seasoned practitioner of the digitalization of business, virtuality and Industry 4.0.
Companies are developing these assets. But they are not telling this to all the opinion makers they could.
This also applies to the theme of Employer Branding. It’s essential to show the advantages that the company offers to the people who work there, such as a creative, stimulating and rewarding work environment… or soon the company will no longer attract and retain the best talent in the market.
Companies are building this reality – but they are not communicating these advances as perhaps they should.
Each of these territories – Innovation, Sustainability, Digital Transformation, Employer Branding – requires an always-on conversation with specific, high-value audiences.
Storytelling applied to these themes has great potential to generate brand reputation, as well as raise awareness and engage the brand’s stakeholders.
This is a demand – and an opportunity – in communication that cannot be solved just by an ad campaign. Neither can it be addressed merely through PR efforts.
These brand conversations require the construction of well-planned and well-produced narratives using the editorial tools of Brand Journalism: structured dialogues between the company and its various stakeholders, relevant, authentic and inspiring stories, offered with reliability and consistency, to generate trust, closeness and relationships.
On one hand, many people no longer believe in ads. But those people are still touched by great, well-told stories – narratives that allow them to share values, attitudes and purpose with their favorite brands.
On the other, brands can no longer rely solely on third-party media outlets to spread their stories – they need to build their own stories and distribute them on their own channels, growing their own audiences.
Brands have a lot to gain by becoming their own publishers. The business-generating potential of the stories that lay beneath them is simultaneously enormous and untapped. The narratives that companies produce every day, when moving around the market, are the most efficient tool at their disposal to attract new clients.
A company must do it well. And it needs to let everyone know what it is doing. In a “Do and Tell” strategy.
We helped “Brand I” become known through its affiliation to a cause: female entrepreneurship. Our mission was to build a community of strategic prospects and customers for “Brand I” based on this social purpose.
With a structured Content Marketing strategy, we engaged a qualified audience of 342,000 consumers to the platform we’ve created for the client.
Each piece of content we’ve produced for the project had, on average, more than 17,000 views.
We’ve gained 73,000 followers for “Brand I” on social media.
We’ve produced a piece of rich content – a book, in physical and digital versions – which had more than 20,000 copies distributed.
All through exactly this kind of communication – the kind that prioritizes Innovation, Sustainability, Digital Transformation and Employer Branding.
Do you want to know how causes and concept themes can contribute to the brand reputation and the business results of your organization?
Do you want to know more about this and other cases of Storytelling and Brand Journalism?